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Garland's Digest Treatise
on Employment Discrimination Law
online since 1997



Disclaimer: The Treatise is based upon federal appellate court decisions from 1996 to 2008. We are currently in the process of updating the Treatise. Until that update is complete, it is possible that certain cases cited in the Treatise may no longer represent current law.


Chapter 2 - Who can be sued?
2.200 Employers
2.210 Definition of employer - In general

2.212 Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA")

The term "employer" under the ADA "means a person engaged in an industry affecting commerce who has 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, and any agent of such person . . . except that the term 'employer' does not include the United States, a corporation wholly owned by the government of the United States, an Indian tribe or a bona fide private membership club (other than a labor organization) that is exempt from taxation under section 501(c) of Title 26." 42 U.S.C. 12111(5)

The Fifth Circuit holds that the plaintiff was not protected by the ADA where the defendants were not his employers. In this case, the plaintiff was enrolled in an automotive training school over which Mercedes Benz USA exercised some control. But there was no employment offer and graduates sought positions with independent Mercedes dealerships, not the defendant, Mercedes Benz USA. See, Brennan v. Mercedes Benz USA, 388 F.3d 133, 134-35 (5th Cir. 2004).



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